Category Archives: Deliberate Practice

Between Two Trees

Today I continued to try out new surfaces to paint on. This surface is black watercolor grounds applied with a roller. It made for a rough but uniform texture and absorbed the color down into its surface. I painted at Torrey Pines … Continue reading

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High Tide at Torrey Pines

There was such a high tide at Torrey Pines this morning, the lagoon was full of water and very exciting to sketch. In my enthusiasm, I painted over the shoreline and road but like the sketch anyway. Yesterday I prepared a … Continue reading

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Taco Redo

For the last 10 days or so I have been experimenting with the surfaces that I paint on. My goal is to find something that allows me to rework sections of a painting. So far I have tried painting on paper … Continue reading

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Lily Pond Corner

Our plein air class went back to the Lily Pond at Balboa Park. I worked on reflections again. This time I left a large amount of black paper unpainted to suggest deep water and to contrast with the lily pads … Continue reading

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Flowers and Figure

We worked on quickly capturing gesture with a minimum of lines during the first portion of the figure drawing class this morning. Then we had several 20 minute periods of time to capture a figure using gesture and to place … Continue reading

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Editing Sketches with Apps

This was an interesting afternoon. I went back and edited some of my sketches from the week with Procreate, Snapseed and Photos, all apps on my iPad. In the sketch above I adjusted the tables in front of the two … Continue reading

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Hillside Near Rancho Bernardo

It is hot and dry in San Diego County just now and there was not a lot of shade this morning where I was sketching near the Bernardo Winery northeast of San Diego. I love the brown and yellow in … Continue reading

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Back to Alcazar Garden

Our landscape class painted again at Alcazar Garden in Balboa Park. Before leaving the house this morning, I looked at my sketch, ‘Among the Hedges‘, that I made on September 28 at Alcazar Garden. I thought it was much too … Continue reading

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Negative Space

In the figure drawing class today we worked on making the figure pop by developing the negative space around the figure. For example, the bedding the model is sitting on got much more emphasis than the model herself. This is … Continue reading

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Light for the Sunflowers

Last Monday I sketched these sunflowers in this same setting. I liked it because it was a simple bold design. However,  after two days of looking at the sketch alongside the flowers in my living room, I decided it would … Continue reading

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As the Afternoon Ends

In this fourth sketch set in the west plaza at San Diego State University, the single figure takes up more of the space on the page and the sky does not extend beyond the row of palm trees. I think … Continue reading

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Taking in the View

After twenty-six months of sketching a new scene pretty much every day,  I am making a change. Rather than sketching a scene one day and then moving on to a new scene the next day, I will be sticking to … Continue reading

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Monday Afternoon

Lately I have been noticing reflected light. This afternoon I saw how the floor, table, chairs and window reflected so much of it in the afternoon light and I began to practice capturing it.  This is a gouache and pastel … Continue reading

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Counter Reflection in Daylight

Although I liked yesterday’s sketch, ‘Counter Reflection,’ I was bothered by the upper right side where I had included a very small portion of the next room. That area was so small that I found it distracting. Then I noticed … Continue reading

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My Plein Air Set-up

  Since today is a driving day I thought I would write about the supplies I now take with me when I paint on location. Before this summer I would go plein air painting, that is, paint on location, at … Continue reading

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Another Meadow

This is another sketch which, like yesterday’s, is mostly about learning to paint meadows. However, this one is painted from a photo because by the time I got up to where this meadow is on the Telluride ski slopes it … Continue reading

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Telluride Mountains and Meadows

I have been working on sketching the mountains in this area and am having trouble getting a feeling of distance in these sketches. I think I need to fade out the distant mountains more and include more of the vibrant … Continue reading

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First Try On The Rise

Today we drove about 50 miles to Telluride Colorado where I will be sketching while my husband works here for the the next four weeks. What with breaking down our old campsite and moving into the rental here I never … Continue reading

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At the Pond

Sometimes you see something special and grab your sketchbook, working as fast as you can to capture it. I am at a working ranch in Colorado for a wedding tomorrow and suddenly had a chance to make some rapid line … Continue reading

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Thinking about the Shapes

I attended a one-day class today where we painted using a drawing supplied by the teacher. Although the teacher wanted us to use our time to apply paint, not draw, we did do a simple value sketch before beginning to … Continue reading

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A Vase for June Flowers

Today’s sketch is a variant of yesterday’s. It is a sketch of the same bouquet but with some of the leaves removed. This time I wanted to make the vase more transparent and used highly diluted paint for most of … Continue reading

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June Flowers

I have wanted to learn to paint without first making guidelines on the paper. The flowers are everywhere this June and I picked a bouquet to practice with, thinking that if the parts did not fit together properly that it … Continue reading

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Back to Cuernavaca’s Borda Garden

Last week I sketched one of the reflecting pools in the Borda Garden in Cuernavaca and I had to go back again today for another sketch. The garden is the kind of place that calls you; it is tranquil, harmonious and … Continue reading

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At the Xochicalco Pyramids

  We went to the Archaeological Monument of Xochicalco, which features the ruins of a huge commercial and religious center of the Olmeca-Xicallanca people. There is a museum and extensive excavated ruins of what once was a very large town … Continue reading

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Homework Time

This Spanish course that the five of us are taking is really great. Not only are we learning Spanish in small groups, but we also have homework. This means my four fellow students are holding relatively still this evening while … Continue reading

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Spring Comes to The Homestead Trail

I took the photo that this picture is based on while biking on the Homestead Trail at Prince Edward Island National Park earlier this month. It was still pretty cold, at least to my California bones, and most of the … Continue reading

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Dining Room in Vermont

I continued today to use photos as the basis of my sketch. This is from the dining room of friends who live in Vermont. I liked the look and feel of the room and thought the way the sunlight entered the … Continue reading

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Father and Child

  On my second day of learning to sketch from photos I decided to do a companion piece from yesterday’s sketch, Mother and Child. I had a photo of the father cradling his sleeping baby while stretched out on the couch with … Continue reading

Posted in Body Language, Deliberate Practice, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Mother and Child

I always say I can’t draw from a photo, but I got to wondering if, after 23 months of daily sketching, if this is still true. I took so many great photos on our trip and would love to use these … Continue reading

Posted in Body Language, Deliberate Practice, Facial Expression | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Home Is Just Over the Laguna Mountains

After a month on the road the sight of the Laguna Mountains in the distance made me so happy. As you drive west from El Centro the mountains first come into view as a faint blue smudge and within 30 minutes … Continue reading

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